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Spanish plants seek to attract new cars after production falls

Automotive News

The vehicles manufactured in Spain reduce their weight among the most demanded in Europe, in full swing of the market towards the SUV. The next two years will be crucial to reposition.

The decision of PSA to cancel the investments of the Opel Corsa in Figueruelas (Zaragoza) if there is no agreement with the unions on the labor agreement and the loss of the Pulsar in the Nissan factory in Barcelona have set off alarms in the automotive industry Spanish.

Its factories, which compete internationally for attracting workload, are again faced with the need to acquire vehicles with greater demand.

The data from the consultancy Jato Dynamics show that Spain only produced two of the ten most successful commercial models in Europe during the first part of 2017, the Volkswagen Polo and the Opel Corsa, whose production in Zaragoza is now in the wire. Five years ago, there were six national vehicles at the top of continental sales.

“The market trends do not benefit the Spanish industry and structural problems are beginning to appear,” they say from one of the companies with factories in Spain, where the term “desposicionamiento” is already used when talking about this phenomenon.

The Corsa, which concentrates half of the production in Figueruelas, is an example. The current model begins to decline and what is at stake are investments to launch a new generation on a PSA platform similar to the one that mounts the Citroën C3 and the Peugeot 208.

vehículos producidos en la fabricas españolas

Bone scan
Registrations in Spain offer a better X-ray. The Seat León and Ibiza and the Renault Mégane, of national invoice, enjoy good commercial health and remain in the top positions. However, the shift in consumer preferences is evident: SUVs grow at rates between 19% and 39% and accumulate 430,651 units, while utilities and compacts stagnate or grow below the market, until 563,332 units.

Missing models “of segments that pull”, either crossover (todocaminos) or alternative vehicles, in which “is lacking in best sellers”, indicate the sources. In electric and hybrid, about to break even though its market share is still at 5%, only vans are saved, including the Partner, Berlingo and the Nissan eNV200, waiting for the shortly eVito to Mercedes Vitoria. In contrast, Germany already has 20 electric or hybrid models, while in the UK the Nissan Leaf is manufactured, which is the world’s best-selling segment.

Car manufacturers rely on the capacity and flexibility of the Spanish industry to, once again, successfully respond to the generational change in the market. In the last five years, the Spanish plants have received 8,000 million euros of investment and should be able to successfully solve the repositioning.

However, for the first time in five years, vehicle production has declined in Spain, by 1.5%. The latest EPA data offered by the INE show that employment in the vehicle manufacturing sector fell by 0.6% in 2017, to 252,800 workers. They are two data to contrapié of the economic evolution.

In two years the arrival of ten models is expected and, of them, three will have hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. Spain already manufactures models driven by gas, both liquefied petroleum and natural.

Anfac, optimist
The employer’s association of manufacturers Anfac is optimistic to allude to the need to have new SUVs in national lines. “In Spain we manufacture several models of this segment, and more that will come in the short and medium term,” they say from the association. Its forecast is that in the coming years the number of alternative vehicles made here will also grow.

The good news is that in 2018 an SUV will be added to the Volkswagen plant in Navarra, the T-Cross, stepbrother of the newcomer Arona to Seat Martorell. The bad news: the Catalan plant will lose an SUV, the Q3, in exchange for the A1 utility, and Figueruelas will stop making the Mokka X.

EXPANSION BY i. of the heras / f. Garcíamadrid -30/01/2018 (Translation Soft)

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